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Worker Status

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Was a moped courier's ability to release a slot to other couriers via an app a sufficient right of substitution to remove the obligation on the courier to perform his work personally so that he was not a worker within the definition of s230 Employment Rights Act 1996?

No, held the Court of Appeal in Stuart Delivery Ltd v Augustine.

The way the system worked was that the Claimant could circulate a notification via the Respondent's app to other couriers who had signed up with the Respondent. Any other courier, already approved by and signed up with the Respondent, could opt, if he chose, to fill the unwanted slot. The Claimant did not know which courier would be taking up the slot and he could not put forward any given individual to take up the slot. If one of the other couriers did not take up the slot, the Claimant would have to work it or face the adverse consequences of missing a slot.

The tribunal had been entitled on the facts as found by it to conclude that the Claimant was a worker within the meaning of s230.

Thanks to Tim Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers for preparing this case summary.